What a great month this has been! While the weather has been completely unpredictable; one step into spring, back into winter, my students have been making great progress on their individuals goals.
I’m always excited when they’re cast in their school musicals, but this year it’s been a bumper crop! Seven of my middle school and high school students have been cast in their respective schools’ spring musicals. Congratulations, one and all!
Another high school student was one of only 8 girls in her district to be chosen for the VCDA’s (Virginia Choral Directors Association) All State choir, band and orchestra festival held in Richmond.
If I sound like a very proud teacher, well it’s because I am!
February and March are always times of waiting to me. Anticipating spring, or Easter, or preparations for recitals, I don’t find these two months dreary. Well, some days ARE dreary, but I digress.
In the community of voice teachers, there are schools of thought about accepting students into private studios. Some teachers ‘audition’ students, while others like me, take on any and all challenges. I’ve wanted to write about that in a post, but yesterday, I found that Matthew Edwards, Associate Professor of Voice and Director of the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah Conservatory had written everything I wanted to say.
Here’s the link, let me know what you thought about the article
On Saturday January 13, 8 students and their friends and families braved the cold and enjoyed a wonderful recital at Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon. This recital was especially fun as the variety of songs performed was just fantastic! We heard everything from 18th century Italian opera to Leonard Cohen to Broadway. And everyone brought their A game. What a proud teacher moment!
November is here and we have had the most beautiful fall I can remember. My students are working on songs for competition, honing their skills, and trying new genres!
Moving out of your comfort zone is key to a singer’s progress. Introducing new kinds of music, including new rhythms and different melodies, strengthens the voice and also develops a student’s musicianship. For example, I had heard Charles Ives’ music, but never took the time to really explore it. When I did, I instantly fell in love. It’s challenging, to be sure, but there is a great sense of accomplishment that comes from successfully navigating his twists and turns.
Saturday Oct. 12 and Sunday Oct. 13, I had the privilege of singing Verdi’s Requiem with Choralis and the Columbia, MD Symphony. The soloists were phenomenal, the music awe-inspiring and while it was a physically and emotionally exhausting endeavor, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity.
In the studio, students are auditioning for school plays and preparing for recitals. A couple students are even getting ready for open mike nights in their neighborhoods.
Today I learned of the passing of a great musician, Bernard Sanchez, of Toledo. Mr. Sanchez was interim chair of the University of Toledo Music Dept. in the 1990’s, was a gifted trumpet professor and played with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he conducted a special Palm Sunday concert every year, featuring works that were rarely performed. I had the opportunity to sing for him on a number of occasions and was always struck by his meticulous attention to detail and expectation of excellence. He will be sorely missed.
This summer has flown by and for me, it’s been the most pleasant one since we moved here in 2011. I’ve had my first garden in 5 years, and have spotted lots of butterflies and 3 Baltimore Orioles on the butterfly bush. Summer for my students has meant lots of fun music, visits with Anna our greyhound, and vacations both stateside and abroad.
New this fall, Refer a Friend program. If you refer a friend during August or September, and they sing up for lessons, you receive one free lesson as a ‘thank you’ from me.
It’s been a busy spring getting the studio set up and welcoming my students to our new location. The Choralis concert was a huge success-you know it went well when the orchestra turns around and applauds the choir! I’m investigating Skype lessons as an alternative for folks who can’t make the drive-I’ll keep you posted on the progress! Have a great summer!
Moving day has come and gone, and I am finally settling into my new studio. The studio has been buzzing with the excitement of selecting audition songs and overcoming the nerves associated with sight reading as students gear up for choir auditions.
The group I sing with, Choralis, is preparing for our spring concert in May. We’ll join forces with the Alexandria Choral Society for an evening of Brahams’ Schiskalslied and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony -“Ode to Joy” Check it out at http://www.choralis.org
We’re moving! On March 16, I will be moving to Aldie, VA. It’s right down Rt. 50, near South Riding, My husband and I are looking forward to having so much more room and a wonderful dedicated studio. I can’t wait for all my students to check it out.